Delhi Daredevils seem to be spoilt for choices when it comes to fast bowling options. In the first two matches of the 2017 Indian Premier League, they have gone with captain Zaheer Khan, Chris Morris and Pat Cummins. However, there are two big names still waiting to play their first match this season - South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada and one of India’s premier fast bowlers — Mohammed Shami.
Shami, who has been a mainstay in India’s bowling for some time, has not played international cricket since November 2016. He suffered a knee injury during the third Test against England and it ruled out him out of the Tests against Bangaldesh and Australia.
As a result, the IPL 2017 is the final chance for the pacer to prove himself before the selectors get together to choose the squad for this year’s Champions Trophy. But, things are not looking up for him.
The Delhi Daredevils side is filled with quality pace options and that has prevented Shami from making debut in this season till now. Zaheer Khan is the captain of the side and his experience means that he will play most of the matches.
South Africa all-rounder Chris Morris has also proven his mettle with the ball this year and considering his batting heroics, it is hard to see him getting dropped from the side any time soon.
When it comes to all-rounders, Corey Anderson and Carlos Brathwaite are both medium pacers who have bowled their fair share in international cricket and can be considered as good bowling options.
That leaves just one spot open for a specialist fast bowler and Shami’s competition is quite intimidating. Kagiso Rabada and Pat Cummins are two of the most exciting fast bowlers in the world right now and they are capable of making their way into the team on any given day.
Rabada is currently ranked fifth in the ICC ODI rankings while Cummins impressed with his bowling during the four-match Test series against India last month. However, that one spot can be taken out of the equation depending on the pitch as the team can decide to go with an extra batsman or another spinner.
There is no doubt that Mohammad Shami is one of the best pacers in the country right now and he is one of the big names who will be considered for the Champions Trophy, but the heavyweight pace attack of Delhi Daredevils can rob him of a chance to properly showcase his talent in IPL 2017.
The only advantage Shami has is that the IPL has a ceiling of playing only four overseas players and fielding a Rabada or Cummins will eat into that four-player slot.